Public Opinion Survey on Diplomacy by the Cabinet Office of Japan (Abridged)

Key Issues
  • Japan’s attitudes toward the United States, China and South Korea (with age group breakdown)
  • Economic cooperation
  • Japan’s role in the United Nations
Dates Conducted

October 2005

Date Released

December 26, 2005

Methodology

The Cabinet Office of Japan conducts annual public opinion polls on Japanese attitudes toward other countries. The poll surveys 1756 males and females over the age of 20.

Background

The annual Cabinet Office survey was conducted from early to mid-October 2005, roughly coinciding with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s controversial visit to Yasukuni Shrine on October 17. The visit raised diplomatic tensions between Japan and its mainland neighbors, China and Korea, and may have set back recent improvements in Japanese attitudes toward South Korea. October also saw a marked slow-down in the Six-Party Talks over the North Korea nuclear crisis after a breakthrough agreement of principles was signed in Beijing on September 19. As a whole, 2005 was a difficult year for Japan’s diplomatic relations. Anti-Japanese demonstrations across China in the spring, as well as Chinese naval incursions in Japanese waters in the summer, continued to agitate Sino-Japan tensions. Otherwise stable U.S.-Japan ties were also shaken by bilateral differences over military base realignment plans and a Japanese ban on U.S. beef imports. Finally, Tokyo’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat fizzled in the summer, when Japan, Germany, India and Brazil failed to garner enough support for a comprehensive UN reform plan.

Link to Original Source
http://www8.cao.go.jp/survey/h17/h17-gaikou/3.html

Survey

Japan’s relations with foreign countries

Q1. Do you have an affinity toward the United States or not? (Same questions for Russia, China, South Korea, etc.) Please choose one of the following. (N=1756)

A) Have an affinity B) Tend to have an affinity C) Tend not to have an affinity D) Don’t have an affinity E) Don’t know
United States 31.9% 41.3 12.9 9.2 4.7
Russia 2.4 13.8 43.0 34.6 6.2
China 6.5 25.9 33.2 30.2 4.2
South Korea 12.5 38.7 24.8 19.5 4.6
Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) 9.9 35.5 26.0 17.2 11.4
South Asian countries(India, Pakistan, etc.) 3.9 22.4 35.8 25.2 12.7
Western European countries (France, UK, etc.) 15.7 42.6 21.0 12.5 8.3
Australia, New Zealand 21.2 41.7 17.0 11.2 8.8
Middle Eastern countries 2.7 14.3 36.6 31.8 14.6
Central and Eastern European countries (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, etc.) 3.5 19.5 34.6 26.7 15.7
Central and South American, and Caribbean countries (Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, etc.) 6.6 30.5 28.2 21.5 13.2
African countries (Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, etc.) 4.0 18.0 33.7 28.7 15.6

Q2. Do you think the relationship between Japan and the United States is good, or not? (Same questions for Russia, China, South Korea, etc.) Please choose one of the following. (N=1756)

A) Good B) Somewhat good C) Not so good D) Not good E) It depends F) Don’t know
United States 29.4% 51.4 10.1 2.7 2.7 3.6
Russia 2.5 25.7 41.6 15.2 5.0 9.9
China 1.8 17.9 42.1 29.0 3.2 5.9
South Korea 4.7 35.0 33.8 17.0 3.4 6.1
Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) 7.3 47.0 18.6 5.2 3.9 17.9
South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, etc.) 3.1 35.9 27.2 6.8 5.5 21.6
Western European countries (France, UK, etc.) 10.8 53.4 13.3 3.2 4.0 15.2
Australia, New Zealand 15.5 50.0 11.4 3.1 3.5 16.5
Middle Eastern countries 1.8 25.3 32.3 12.0 5.4 23.1
Central and Eastern European countries 2.3 31.8 26.3 7.9 4.8 26.9
Central and South American, and Caribbean countries (Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, etc.) 4.6 43.7 19.0 5.8 3.7 23.2
African countries (Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, etc.) 3.0 33.0 23.6 8.4 4.8 27.3

Q3. Regarding North Korea, please choose as many items in which you are interested from the following list. (N=1756)

A) Political system 46.3%
B) North-South issues 22.2
C) Negotiations to normalize Japan-N.Korea diplomatic relations 33.0
D) Japanese abductee issues 87.6
E) Suspicious boat issues 38.7
F) Nuclear development issues 63.9
G) Missile issues 52.2
H) Illegal activities, including drug smuggling 36.3
I) So-called “settlement of the past” 21.0
J) Refugee issues 16.9
K) Food aid 41.2
L) Japanese spouses’ visit to their home town 18.5
M) Sightseeing 5.2
N) Economic exchanges, including trade 9.2
O) Cultural exchanges 6.2
Q) Sports exchanges 7.6
R) Others 0.6
S) Nothing special 3.6
T) Don’t know 0.6

Q4. How do you obtain information about foreign countries? Please choose as many as apply from the following. (N=1756)

A) Newspapers 74.4%
B) General magazines 15.3
C) Government publications 3.3
D) TV 92.7
E) Radio 18.5
F) Foreign films 7.6
G) Internet 16.3
H) Overseas travel 6.2
I) Interaction with foreigners in Japan 3.8
J) Other 0.3
K) Nothing in particular 1.9

SQ. For those who choose A)-J) in Q4, with the means you selected, what kind of information did you obtain? Select as many as apply from the following. (N=1723)

A) Politics 64.7%
B) International affairs 66.8
C) Economy, industry 47.4
D) Security 32.1
E) Geography, history 15.9
F) Science, technology 13.8
G) Society, living 36.1
H) Culture, art 29.1
I) Language 7.0
J) Others 0.7
K) Don’t know 3.5

Economic cooperation

Q5. Developed countries provide economic cooperation, including financial aid and technical assistance, for developing countries. What do you think about Japan’s economic cooperation in the future? Please choose one of the following. (N=1756)

A) Should advance cooperation actively 22.0%
B) Current level of cooperation is sufficient 44.6
C) Should cut cooperation as much as possible 23.0
D) Should stop completely 3.0
E) Don’t know 7.4

SQa. For those who answered A) in Q5, why do you think that way? Choose as many as apply from the following. (N=387)

A) It is developed countries’ humanitarian obligation to help developing countries 60.2%
B) It can contribute to stability of developing countries and world peace 62.8
C) Japan as a country with a huge trade surplus has a responsibility to help developing countries that suffer from accumulated debts, etc. 22.0
D) Economic cooperation is an important tool for Japan’s diplomacy 35.9
E) Without political stability and economic development in developing countries, the Japanese economy cannot advance 27.4
F) Economic cooperation for developing countries can help Japan secure stable energy resources 20.2
G) Japan will be isolated if only Japan does not provide economic cooperation 17.8
H) Japan should use its technology and experience to solve developing countries’ environmental issues, etc. 43.7
I) Others 0.3
J) No specific reason
K) Don’t know 0.3

SQb. For those who answered C) or D) in Q5, why do you think that way? Choose as many as apply from the following. (N=456)

A) Japan’s domestic economic condition is not good 69.1%
B) Type of actual economic cooperation is not clear 38.8
C) There are many areas where Japan’s current economic cooperation is ineffective due to lack of consideration for local situations and needs 26.5
D) Do not feel that Japan’s economic cooperation is appreciated by developing countries 33.8
E) Economic cooperation is not fully utilized as Japan’s diplomatic tool 21.3
F) Current economic assistance is inefficient, in such areas as coordination with related agencies, management and operation of donated equipment, etc. 13.2
G) Japan’s financial situation is not good 43.4
H) Others 2.6
I) No specific reason 0.9
J) Don’t know 0.4

Q6. On what region do you think Japan should focus its economic cooperation in the future? Choose one from the following. (N=1756)

A) Asia 51.2%
B) Middle East 4.0
C) Central and Eastern Europe 0.9
D) Africa 12.0
E) Central and South America and Caribbean region 0.7
F) Island countries in the Pacific 1.6
G) Equally in all regions 16.6
H) Don’t know 13.0

SQ. For those who answered A) in Q6, where in Asia do you think Japan should focus its economic cooperation? Choose one from the following. (N=899)

A) Northeast Asia (China, Mongolia, etc.) 34.3%
B) Southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) 41.3
C) South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc.) 16.9
D) Central Asia and Caucasus region (Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, etc.) 2.3
E) Others 0.1
F) Don’t know 5.1

Japan’s role in the United Nations

Q7. Currently more than 100 countries send personnel for UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs). Japan has participated in international humanitarian assistance activities, such as PKOs in Cambodia, Golan Heights and East Timor; refugee relief activities in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan; and international election monitoring activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and East Timor. Do you think Japan should participate in these activities, including PKOs, in the future? Choose one of the following. (N=1756)

A) Should participate more actively than before 24.4%
B) Should participate at the current level 49.5
C) Should participate but at a minimal level 15.4
D) Should not participate 2.8
E) Others 0.5
F) Don’t know 7.3

Q8. At the United Nations, discussion is moving forward on expanding the Security Council in order to strengthen its functions and enhance the representation of each region at the council. What do you think about the possibility of Japan joining the permanent members of the Security Council? Choose one of the following. (N=1756)

A) Support 32.7%
B) Tend to support 35.6
C) Tend to oppose 9.3
D) Oppose 3.9
E) Others 0.1
F) Don’t know 18.5

SQa. For those who answered A) or B) in Q8, why do you think that way? Choose one of the following. (N=1199)

A) Japan should actively contribute to world peace since it has become an economic superpower. 20.4%
B) It is wrong that Japan cannot be a part of important decision-making processes while it makes enormous financial contributions to the United Nations. 30.3
C) Helps world peace, as Japan does not have nuclear weapons and has pacifism as its basic principle 27.8
D) Japan can reflect its ideas on important UN decisions 11.4
E) Will allow Japan to help UN activities more actively 8.2
F) Others 0.7
G) Don’t know 1.3

SQb. For those who answered C) or D) in Q8, why do you think that way? Choose one of the following. (N=231)

A) Will have to make even greater financial contributions to the UN than now once Japan becomes a permanent member of the Security Council. 32.0%
B) Will have to actively participate in the UN’s military operations once Japan becomes a permanent member of the Security Council. 21.6
C) Can make enough international contributions in such non-military areas as economic, social and environmental areas without becoming a permanent member of the Security Council 30.7
D) Should revise the Constitution before Japan becomes a permanent member of the Security Council 3.5
E) Don’t support the United Nations per se 6.9
F) Others 3.5
G) Don’t know 1.7

Q9. As stipulated under the UN Charter, all member states must make financial contributions to core UN activities (including PKOs) based on each country’s scale of economy. As Japan is the second largest economy in the world after the United States, it contributes to about 19.5% of the total UN budget, or about 146 billion yen (in 2004), which is the second largest in the world. This represents a per capita contribution of about 1,140 yen. Considering these figures, what do you think about Japan’s financial contributions to the United Nations? Choose one of the following. (N=1756)

A) Should increase 2.3%
B) Current level is fine 32.3
C) Should change the amount of contributions in accordance with Japan’s influence in the United Nations 37.5
D) Should decrease 20.0
E) Other 0.1
F) Don’t know 7.7

Q10. What areas do you think are important when Japan actively promotes international cooperation through the United Nations? Choose as many as apply. (N=1756)

A) Maintenance of international peace and security 70.2%
B) Assistance for developing countries 34.1
C) Science, technology and space exploration 13.8
D) Human rights issues 34.5
E) Refugee relief 35.1
F) Disarmament and nonproliferation (prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons, missiles, etc.) 40.7
G) Small arm issues and anti-personnel land mine issues (removal of mines, assistance for victims, etc.) 15.9
H) Narcotics issues 26.2
I) Environmental issues 49.0
J) Population issues 11.7
K) Improvement of women’s status 11.0
L) Crime prevention (firearms trafficking, etc.) 23.5
M) Anti-terrorism 54.7
N) Protection and promotion of children’s rights 20.8
O) Measures for the disabled and elderly 20.4
P) Help for UN finance 5.1
Q) UN reform 9.0
R) Health issues such as infectious disease, etc. (AIDS, malaria, etc.) 34.6
S) Cooperation in cultural, educational and academic fields (preservation of World Heritages, etc.) 19.9
T) Disaster prevention/relief (tsunami, etc.) 36.7
U) Efforts toward legal settlement in major humanitarian crises 11.0
V) Others 0.2
W) Don’t know 5.2

External economy

Q11. On which areas do you think Japan should focus when it promotes its economic relations with foreign countries? Choose as many as apply. (N=1756)

A) Promotion of liberalization of trade and investment, including utilization of such mechanisms as free trade agreements (FTAs), economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with specific countries and regions, and World Trade Organization (WTO) initiatives. 28.9%
B) Securing energy resources 60.8
C) Securing food 38.0
D) Promotion of direct investment to Japan 8.0
E) Support for Japanese corporations’ overseas activities 23.5
F) Protection of intellectual property rights, including patents 14.0
G) Promotion of tourism to Japan 13.2
H) Promotion of understanding about Japanese economy among foreign countries (more active public relations) 21.6
I) Others 0.1
J) Don’t know 11.3

Q12. On what regions in the world do you think Japan should focus when it promotes its economic relations with foreign countries? Please choose as many as apply. (N=1756)

A) Northeast Asia (Korea, China and Mongolia) 46.6%
B) Southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) 27.9
C) South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc.) 19.8
D) Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, island nations in the Pacific) 15.4
E) Middle East 11.7
F) Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, etc.) 11.4
G) Russia 8.9
H) Central Asia and Caucasian countries (Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, etc.) 3.0
I) Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, etc.) 3.9
J) Western Europe (France, UK, etc.) 13.3
K) North America (US and Canada) 27.0
L) Central and South America and Caribbean countries (Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, etc.) 7.1
M) Should promote equally regardless of the region 12.5
N) Don’t know 13.6

External public relations

Q13. Do you think that Japan conveys its posture, opinions and positions to foreign countries accurately, and do these countries understand these things accurately or not? (N=1756)

A) Think so 10.1%
B) Do not think so 69.6
C) Can’t say either 14.0
D) Don’t know 6.4

SQ. For those who answered B) in Q13, why do you not think so? Choose one of the following. (N=1222)

A) Because there are misunderstandings and insufficient knowledge about Japan in foreign countries 57.9%
B) Because foreign countries have little available information about Japan 12.3
C) Because Japan inadequately responds to foreign criticism 28.2
D) Other 1.1
E) Don’t know 0.6

Protection of Japanese nationals

Q14. What do you think about protection of and support for Japanese nationals who have encountered such incidents as traffic accidents, crimes, and sickness overseas? Choose one of the following. (N=1756)

A) Individuals or home companies/organizations should be responsible for dealing with them on their own. 10.2%
B) Individuals or home companies/organizations should deal with them on their own as much as possible, but if they cannot, the government, embassies and consulates should provide protection and support. 40.6
C) Even if individuals or home companies/organizations can deal with them on their own, the government, embassies and consulates should actively provide protection and support. 21.1
D) Under any circumstance, the government, embassies and consulates should provide protection and support 23.4
E) Other 0.8
F) Don’t know 3.9

Roles that Japan should play

Q15. Mainly, what roles do you think Japan should play in the international community? Please choose up to two of the following. (N=1756)

A) Contributions to maintaining world peace such as efforts toward peaceful solutions for regional conflicts, including physical support 49.3%
B) International efforts to protect internationally universal values, such as freedom, democracy and human rights. 15.3
C) Humanitarian support for refugees and displaced people (especially children and women) 25.1
D) Contributions to advancing a healthy world economy 19.7
E) Cooperation to advance developing countries 14.5
F) Contributions to solving global issues such as global environmental problems 42.8
G) Contributions to international cultural exchanges, such as cooperation in preserving cultural heritages throughout the world. 6.0
H) Others 0.1
I) Don’t know 6.7

F1. Gender

Male 47.4%
Female 52.6

F2. Age. How old are you?

20-24 4.7%
25-29 5.0
30-34 6.8
35-39 8.7
40-44 8.3
45-49 8.0
50-54 10.0
55-59 11.3
60-64 10.5
65-69 10.3
70- 16.5

F3. Occupation. What is your occupation?

Self-employed
Agriculture, forestry and fishery 2.6%
Business, engineering and service 8.3
Freelance 0.9
Family business employee
Agriculture, forestry and fishery 1.4
Business, engineering and service 3.5
Freelance 0.1
Employee
Manager 3.0
Expert, technician 0.6
Clerical worker 17.5
Laborer 20.0
Unemployed
Housewife 23.4
Student 1.8
Others 16.9

F4. Overseas Experience. Have you been to a foreign country? Please choose one of the following.

A) Have lived in a foreign country for longer than three months 4.3%
B) Have been to a foreign country 51.4
C) Have never been to a foreign country 44.3

 

Age group breakdown for Q1

United States

A) Have an affinity B) Tend to have an affinity C) Tend not to have an affinity D) Don’t have an affinity E) Don’t know
Total 31.9% 41.3 12.9 9.2 4.7
20-29 25.9 45.3 17.6 8.2 2.9
30-39 29.2 50.9 12.5 6.3 1.1
40-49 35.4 43.2 12.3 7.4 1.8
50-59 33.2 44.7 13.4 6.7 2.1
60-69 34.7 33.6 11.7 11.5 8.5
70- 29.7 33.4 11.7 14.8 10.3

China

A) Have an affinity B) Tend to have an affinity C) Tend not to have an affinity D) Don’t have an affinity E) Don’t know
Total 6.5% 25.9 33.2 30.2 4.2
20-29 8.2 31.2 31.2 27.1 2.4
30-39 5.9 30.6 35.1 26.9 1.5
40-49 6.7 25.3 35.4 30.2 2.5
50-59 6.4 23.8 39.8 28.9 1.1
60-69 4.6 23.8 30.1 33.6 7.9
70- 8.3 24.5 25.9 32.4 9

South Korea

A) Have an affinity B) Tend to have an affinity C) Tend not to have an affinity D) Don’t have an affinity E) Don’t know
Total 12.5% 38.7 24.8 19.5 4.6
20-29 18.2 42.9 22.4 13.5 2.9
30-39 14.0 44.6 25.1 14.4 1.8
40-49 15.1 39.6 26.0 16.8 2.5
50-59 9.9 38.5 28.1 21.1 2.4
60-69 10.4 35.2 25.1 21.3 7.9
70- 11.0 34.1 20.0 26.2 8.6

Disclaimer

The Mansfield Foundation is responsible for the translation of this Asahi Shimbun poll, subject to the Mansfield Foundation terms of use (see below).

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